YET another famous footballer has fallen foul of Spain's tax authorities – Bayern Munich's Xabi Alonso, who used to play for Real Madrid FC, is facing legal action through the head of prosecution in the Spanish capital.
Yet his solicitor had been told nearly three months ago that no charges would be pressed as 'no illegal activity had been found'.
The Basque-born star, who scored the winning World Cup goal for Spain in 2010, had sold his image rights a year earlier to a company on the Portuguese island of Madeira.
Although trading under a different name, the firm is the same as Barça's Mascherano sold his own rights to shortly beforehand.
Both firm names shared the same accountant and tax domicile, but had no known commercial activity.
Spain's tax authorities announced in September that it had detected income not declared to them on Xabi Alonso's part – a claim the player denied the same month in a press release.
Mascherano, who played alongside Xabi in Liverpool, UK between 2007 and 2009 - the period during which they are each accused of committing the 'fraud' – was tried for evading €1.5 million in tax and then sentenced when he pleaded guilty.
Xabi, in Twitter and Facebook posts, said the State prosecution had not allowed him or any of his representatives sight of the case file – nor what Xabi says was a decision to archive it on December 15 after considering there had been 'no illegal action whatsoever' on his part.
A recent post says that, as at the date of writing, neither Xabi Alonso nor his legal advisors had been formally told of any court case opened against him about 'any class of fraud'.
Inspections by the financial crimes prosecution in Madrid were called for on July 29 last year and, over the next five months, several were carried out 'to clarify the accusations', Xabi's Twitter post says.
The prosecution then contacted him and his legal team to tell them the case had been filed as no illegal activity had been discovered, and that they would be notified as such in writing.
By early February this year, after six months had passed since the case had opened, the player's legal representatives wrote to the prosecution to formally request this notification they were promised two months earlier.
“Without further explanation, they told us that, despite the verdict on December 15, they had decided to take the matter to the courts, and have refused to allow us access to the file or to the December verdict,” Alonso continues.
“This is a clear contradiction of the decision reached by the specialist prosecution team.”
The post says Xabi 'reiterates absolutely categorically' that he has always complied with his tax obligations and continues to do so, but that he was prepared to cooperate in full with the court based upon his conviction that it would be found his actions 'were and are fully in accordance with laws in force'.